Fr. INF Lexi Morales and Sr. UTL Ilena Santos | Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez
UTEP softball (7-13, 2-2 C-USA) hits the road once again, after its series split with Southern Miss to take on UAB (15-15, 2-2 C-USA) in Birmingham, Alabama, in a four-game series from Friday to Sunday.
UTEP split its two double-headers versus Southern Miss in its first weekend of Conference USA competition behind two grand slams – one in each victory – off the bat of junior utility Kasey Flores. They were Flores’s first round trippers with the bases loaded since her freshman season in 2019.
In the Miners’ 7-4 victory in game one on April 2, fifth-year infielder Bryanna Molina, senior utility Ilena Santos and sophomore catcher Karina Somoza each pieced together RBI base hits before Flores put UTEP in the lead with her grand slam.
Freshman pitcher Mackenzee Collins earned her third win of the year in the contest while sophomore utility Zaylie Calderon picked up the save.
UTEP ended the weekend with a win in the night cap of April 3’s double-header. Flores was a perfect 3-for-3 – each hit knocking in a run – with six RBIs and a grand slam. Molina also added two more base hits to her weekend to bump her RBI total versus Southern Miss up to three.
Redshirt sophomore outfielder Idalis Mendez and freshman infielder Lexi Morales each had three-hit days in the win.
UAB has one power-5 victory on Feb. 13 over Ole Miss, 13-5. Also in the preseason, the Blazers lost two games to then-No. 19 Georgia by one run in each contest.
UAB split its opening conference play series last weekend versus North Texas who tied with Louisiana Tech for first place in the West Division in Conference USA’s last full season in 2019. The Blazers finished in last place in the West Division with a 19-31 record in 2019.
UAB has one pitcher in the top-15 of C-USA in ERA with Jaycee Cook (2.69) and another pitcher which is fourth in C-USA in strikeouts with Parker Conrad (60). Conrad is also sixth in the conference in opposing batting average (.226).
The Blazers have two players hitting above .300: catcher Sierra Frazier (.375) and outfielder Faith Hegh (.325). Frazier also has the most home runs on the team with four.
The Miners are 3-17 in their last 20 meetings with the Blazers. UTEP’s last victory over UAB came on March 30, 2019, with the final score being 7-3. Flores and Cathey each had a hit and an RBI in the contest.
MINERS RANKINGS IN C-USA AND NATIONALLY
- Fourth in C-USA in batting average (.291)
- Third in C-USA in on-base percentage (.369)
- Mendez is first in C-USA, sixth nationally in batting average (.519)
- Mendez is first in C-USA, eighth nationally on-base percentage (.600)
- Flores is fifth in C-USA in RBIs per game (0.89)
- Junior infielder Pate Cathey is 11th in C-USA batting average (.379)
- Calderon is third in C-USA in saves (2)
SCHEDULE – All games will be available for viewing on C-USA.TV.
Friday – UAB at 5 p.m. MT
Saturday – UAB at 12 p.m. MT | UAB at 2 p.m. MT
Sunday – UAB at 11 a.m. MT
For complete coverage of UTEP softball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPSoftball (Twitter), @utepsoftball (Instagram) and on Facebook or click here to visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.